RIM’s future in doubt as financial warning issued

Research In Motion is set to announce that it’s sitting on a pile of unsold Blackberrys worth more than $1 billion.

As a result, it’s shortly expected to announce a write-down – its third since December – as part of notably poor quarterly results. The company’s also expected to announce job cuts.

“RIM is going through a significant transformation as we move towards the BlackBerry 10 launch, and our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters,” says president and CEO Thorsten Heins.

“The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter.”

The company lost $125 million in the last quarter of last year.

On the plus side, says Heins, RIM expects its cash reserves to increase from the $2.1 billion it reported at the end of fiscal 2012.

The company’s embarked on a strategic review which Heins has confirmed will result in significant job cuts. It’s called in JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to advise on options, which are likely to include partnerships, licensing deals or even a sale. Industry observers have suggested that Facebook might be interested.

RIM has struggled over the last few years in the face of competition from the iPhone and Android devices. It’s pinning its hopes on the upcoming launch of its new Blackberry 10 operating system, expected towards the end of this year.